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This document aims to provide the framework and a statement of the structure of the teaching and learning in our school.

Our mission has always been to live up to our school motto ‘Ad Caelestia Sequere’ (‘Reach for the Stars’) and it is something we urge all our students to do.

Hence, Highworth aims to develop students who are:

R – Reflective, creative and Innovative
E – Eager for life-long learning
A – Aiming to achieve their full potential
C – Considerate, confident, independent individuals
H – Happy in a caring, respectful community


What Does REACH Mean?



Reflective, creative and Innovative: Our broad and balanced curriculum with its inspiring enrichment programme allows students to pursue personal interests and challenges in a stimulating environment. Creativity and innovation are key elements in our teaching, providing students with a rich and wide range of opportunities to develop their skills and personal talents. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by applying their knowledge, being resourceful and eager to investigate.



Eager for life-long learning: Highworth offers a dynamic learning environment. From the classroom to the world beyond, we want our students to seize the opportunities they are given so that they develop into confident, creative, independent adults who will relish life-long learning. Our popular enrichment programme allows students to try something different and go beyond what is taught in the curriculum. They are also well prepared for their future economic success through work-related learning, Enterprise education, careers advice and guidance. Furthermore, our programme of personal, social, health education and citizenship gives students a greater appreciation of real life issues and situations and enables them to develop a very good understanding of how to live healthy lives.


Aiming to achieve their full potential: Our standards and expectations are high and we pride ourselves in giving every student the opportunity to fulfil her potential and become highly qualified so that she is fully equipped for the demands and exciting challenges of life. Hence, we cater for individual needs, aptitudes and learning styles, build on individual strengths and interests, and so develop self-esteem and self-confidence. With their subject teachers and further support from their mentors, students set clear, challenging but realistic targets which are reviewed regularly.


Considerate, confident, independent individuals: Through Highworth’s broad range of opportunities, students gain confidence to become independent, self-motivated learners ready to make a valuable contribution to society. The popular Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme also allows students to set themselves personal goals. Our vertical mixed-age mentor groups help students to form close bonds and treat others with consideration. Trust, tolerance, care and fun are the hallmarks of these groups. Younger students are inspired by older students who develop valuable leadership skills. Specially trained Sixth Formers provide counselling and support for younger students and we work closely with outside agencies to promote the well-being of every student.


Happy in a caring, respectful community: Highworth is renowned for its excellent behaviour and the friendly, welcoming, caring nature of our students who actively support one another and the wider community. Nowhere is this caring involvement better exhibited than in the large sums of money raised for various charities through a wide variety of fun-filled and imaginative events including our popular and successful Culture Days. We are proud of our Music Specialist status and its impact on our learning environment. Our seven Learning Communities are named after famous female musicians and enjoyable, cross-year musical activities enhance the harmony within our school. Our Music Specialism also provides us with exciting opportunities to take part in local, national and international events and forge important links with primary schools and businesses. In our aim for excellence and achievement, students and staff enjoy working in an atmosphere of support and co-operation. Students feel safe to enjoy their education in our happy, supportive environment.

What Does This Mean Day To Day?

To enable students to develop in the areas outlined about we design a curriculum at meets the needs of our students. Moreover;

  • We implement a core curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 providing students with a range is skills that they will require as they progress through the school.
  • Regular assessment, feedback and reflection. Students are set challenging but realistic targets in each of their subjects. Their progress towards these is assessed as part of our continuous monitoring of students. Students will have time to reflect on their progress and their skills base through subject and mentor meetings and through the rewards system.
  • Offering a range of GCSE subjects from Year 10 onwards. All students study the core EBacc with GCSE’s in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography or History and a Modern Foreign Language. Students are further able to customise their courses in Year 12 and Year 13.
  • The school runs Focus Days where year groups spend a day focusing on topics relevant to themselves. Topics such as careers, enterprise, examination and revision techniques, life skills are included so that students develop a broad range of knowledge and skills.
  • Vertical Mentor groups based in 7 communities. Our community structure is a strength of the school and provides a welcoming atmosphere to new students as well as leadership opportunities for older students.
  • High quality teaching. Our expert and experienced staff know that nothing can replace high quality teaching. Our staff are highly qualified and up to date with the current themes in education. In our recent Ofsted around 50% of lessons were outstanding.
  • Continuous CPD and research for staff. As part of our Teaching School status we work with our own staff and that of other schools to develop expert teaching and pedagogy so that our students benefit from the very best in teaching and learning.

Structure of the Day

The school has a two week timetable and five teaching periods per day:


08.45 am Period One
09.45 am Period Two
10.50 am Morning Break
11.10 am Period Three
12.10 pm Mentor Period
12.35 pm Lunch
13.30 pm Period Four
14.30 pm Period Five
15.35 pm End of school day

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Years 7 and 8)

Students study a broad curriculum design to given them the skills required for achieving their full potential as they move up the school.

Students study:

  Year 7   Year 8   Year 9
Subjects Periods   Periods   Periods
English 6   6   7
Mathematics 6   6   7
Science  6   6   9(3x3)
Art 3   3   3
Computing 2   2   -
Dance 1   1    
Design Technology 3   3   4 (inc Comp)
Drama -   1   1
Geography 3   4   3
History 3   4   3
Modern Foreign Language (x2) 4   5   4
Music 2   3   2
PE 3   3   3
RE 2   2   3
Enrichment 2   -   -

Modern Foreign Languages

In Year 7 choose two languages from French, German or Spanish. They then choose a single subject to study in Years 8 and then on to GCSE.  Gifted linguists may be able to choose a second language as part of their option choices into Year 10. 

GCSE Curriculum

Students choose their options in Year 10 and all follow EBacc groups of courses. All students study English Literature and Language, Mathematics, Triple Science, Geography or History and a Modern Foreign Language.

Some mathematicians will also study a Further Maths GCSE.

    Year 10   Year 11
Subjects   Periods   Periods
English   8   6
Mathematics   7   7
Science (x3)   12   12
RE   4   3
Choice 1 (MFL)   4   5
Choice 2 (Humanity)   4   5
Choice 3   4   5
Choice 4   4   5
PE   3   2

Core Routes

  English Route Mathematics Route Science Route MFL Route
Year 7 Core English Core Mathematics Core Science 2 MFL either French, German or Spanish
Year 8 Core English Core Mathematics Core Science 1 MFL either French, German or Spanish
Year 9 Core English

Core Mathematics

GCSE Triple Science

1 MFL either French or German or Spanish

Year 10 GCSE English Language and Literature

GCSE Mathematics

GCSE Further Maths (Top Sets)

GCSE Triple Science


1 MFL either French or German or Spanish or Italian

Year 11 GCSE English Language and Literature

GCSE Mathematics

GCSE Further Maths (Top Sets)

GCSE Triple Science

GCSE Dual Science


1 MFL either French or German or Spanish or Italian

Year 12

A-Level English Literature

A-Level English Language

A-Level Mathematics
A-Level Further Mathematics

Core Mathematics (Level 3)

A-Level Biology, Chemistry, Physics A-Level French, German, Spanish
Year 13

A-Level English Literature

A-Level English Language

A-Level Mathematics
A-Level Further Mathematics

Core Mathematics (Level 3)

A-Level Biology, Chemistry, Physics A-Level French, German, Spanish


Sixth Form Curriculum

Students typically study three, some four, courses in Year 12 and typically three courses in Year 13. 

Each subject is allocated 9 periods over the timetable cycle.

Typically a fourth subject taken is the Extended Project. This is a personalised project that the students take over two years, submitting a project at the end. The project can take the form of either a research project or the creation of an article.

Courses on offer include:

Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Dance, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Extended Project, Film Studies, French, Geography, German, History (2 options), Mathematics, Core Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Photography, PE, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, RE, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre Studies.

Students are also timetable for additional study session in the school library.